Machiavelli has been among the most commented upon, criticized and feared thinkers of the modern world. Infamous for his support of brutality and repression as valid political instruments, he is often portrayed as the pantomime villain of political theorists. In this whirlwind tour of Machiavelli's writings and eventful life, Nederman highlights the complexities in his thought, highlighting that he advocated democracy as much as dictatorship, debate as much as violence, depending upon prevailing political conditions. Cary J. Nederman is professor of political science at Texas A&M University. He is the author of over twenty books on the history of Western political thought.